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Author Topic: Bad water situations due to human error - 2016  (Read 8572 times)

Yowbarb

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Bad water situations due to human error - 2016
« on: January 14, 2014, 11:42:48 AM »
Major screwup with the water in West Virginia. Many of you probably read or heard about it.
A facility (non governmental) which stored toxic chemicals sprung a leak. Multi thousands of people were told on an urgent basis do not use that tap water for anything other than flushing the water.
Very toxic.
The storage facilities are apparently not subject to the same controls as a processing plant with toxic chemicals so the laws will be changed...
More details and link soon. The situation is not over...

Yowbarb

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 11:45:09 AM »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/13/west-virginia-water-ban_n_4589636.html

West Virginia Water Ban Lifted For Parts Of State After 5 Days

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Downtown businesses and restaurants began to reopen after water was declared safe to drink in portions of West Virginia's capital, but life has yet to return to normal for most of the 300,000 people who haven't been able to use running water in the five days since a chemical spill.

It could still be days before everyone in the Charleston metropolitan area is cleared to use water, though officials say the water in certain designated areas was safe to drink and wash with as long as people flushed out their systems. They cautioned that the water may still have a slight licorice-type odor, raising the anxieties of some who believed it was still contaminated.

"I wouldn't drink it for a while. I'm skeptical about it," said Wanda Blake, a cashier in the electronics section of a Charleston Kmart who fears she was exposed to the tainted water before she got word of the spill. "I know I've ingested it."

By Tuesday morning, officials had given the green light to about 35 percent of West Virginia American Water's customers. Thursday's spill affected 100,000 customers in a nine-county area, or about 300,000 people in all.

The water crisis shuttered schools, restaurants and day-care centers, and truckloads of water had to be brought in from out of state. People were told to use the water only to flush their toilets. Hospitals were flushing out systems as were schools, which hoped to open again Wednesday.

In downtown Charleston, the first section of the city where water was declared safe, few signs of the crisis were visible late Monday and hotel guests were informed they could use everything but the ice machines.

But many businesses remained shuttered in outlying residential neighborhoods. Charleston attorney Anthony Majestro represents several businesses that lost money while shut down and said he has lost count of the numerous lawsuits filed over the spill.

The Charleston Fire Department was continuing to give away cases of bottled water for free, and late Monday afternoon, a steady stream of vehicles crept through a station about a mile north of downtown.

Fire Capt. Eddie Moore estimated that firefighters, police officers and other volunteers at the station had given away 2,500 cases of water Monday — more than 80,000 16-ounce bottles, or two tractor-trailers full. Firefighters loaded several cases into every vehicle that drove through.
Inside the station, the firefighters were surviving on frozen dinners, and Moore said the licorice smell from the taps was especially strong Monday morning.

Bernard Casdorph, 64, a field deputy for the county assessor's office, said he was making twice-daily trips to the station to collect water for himself, his mother, her neighbor and a cousin who uses a wheelchair. He said three days without a shower was enough for him to set aside his fears of the contaminant.

"I slipped. I went ahead and took a shower anyway. Maybe I shouldn't have," Casdorph said. "I just couldn't take it. I asked everybody, 'Am I turning green or blue?'"

Officials were lifting the ban in a strict, methodical manner to help ensure the water system was not overwhelmed by excessive demand, which could cause more water quality and service problems. An online map detailing what areas were cleared showed a very small portion in blue Monday evening and a vast area across nine counties still in the "do not use" red.

Customers were credited with 1,000 gallons of water, which was likely more than enough to flush out a system. The average residential customer uses about 3,300 gallons a month.

The water crisis started Thursday when a chemical used in coal processing leaked from a Freedom Industries plant into the nearby Elk River.

Complaints came in to West Virginia American Water about the odor and officials discovered the source was the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, which spilled out of a 40,000-gallon tank.

In all, state officials believe about 7,500 gallons leaked from the tank. Some of the chemical was contained before flowing into the river and it's not clear exactly how much entered the water supply.

Federal authorities, including the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, have opened an investigation.

Over the past few days, tests have showed that levels were consistently below a toxic threshold, and in some samples, there was no trace of the chemical at all.

Some people put plastic bags around faucets so they were reminded not to use the water. Others have left town to take a shower and find an open restaurant.

Only 14 people exposed to the contaminated water were admitted to the hospital, and none were in serious condition. No fish kills were reported and there was no effect on aquatic life or wildlife, state officials said.

The chemical, even in its most concentrated form, isn't deadly. However, people were told they shouldn't even wash their clothes in affected water, as the compound can cause symptoms ranging from skin irritation and rashes to vomiting and diarrhea.

Company president Gary Southern said Friday night that the leak had been stopped, but otherwise company officials have declined to comment.

___

Associated Press writers Pam Ramsey, Brendan Farrington, Mitch Weiss and Dylan Lovan contributed to this report.

___

Follow Jonathan Mattise on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JonathanMattise.

Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols.

HuffPost Readers: If you're a West Virginian whose water supply has been affected, we want to hear from you. What impact has the chemical spill had on you? How are you coping without using tap water? How well do you feel the situation has been handled? Email us here with your stories, photographs, or anything else you want to share. Please include your name, and a phone number if you're willing to speak with a reporter.

PHOTO (there are 21 on page) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/13/west-virginia-water-ban_n_4589636.html 
Earl Ray Tomblin, James Hoyer

Commander of the West Virginia National Guard, Gen. James Hoyer, left, gestures as West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, right, looks on during a press conference at the capitol in Charleston, W.Va., Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 on the chemical spill that affected about 300,000 people. The Governor announced that the water system is ready to be flushed by zones with safe drinking water. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 02:43:13 PM by Yowbarb »

Dania22

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2014, 04:38:15 PM »
Something stinks here...... :-X

JKB

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 05:41:25 PM »
Agreed.  There was a bunch of traffic on BIN about West Virginia's FEMA Region being put on alert, but if I had a dollar for everyone of those I've read...
You have to let it all go Neo.  Fear, doubt, and disbelief...  Free your mind.

Jimfarmer

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 06:31:14 PM »
One possibility for the cause of the break in the base of the tank is earth-split due to twisting forces on the North American tectonic plate.

Yowbarb

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 09:16:55 PM »
One possibility for the cause of the break in the base of the tank is earth-split due to twisting forces on the North American tectonic plate.

Now that makes sense...
At any rate their were not adequate regulations for inspecting toxic storage tanks and so it went unregulated. Eventually these things break down...

JKB

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 10:28:39 AM »
Sorry, the website Before It's News...   BIN.  I don't know why I even check it anymore because nothing on there ever actually happens, but probably out of habit.  They do have some good survival ideas sometimes though.
 
http://beforeitsnews.com/
You have to let it all go Neo.  Fear, doubt, and disbelief...  Free your mind.

Yowbarb

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2014, 01:39:12 PM »
Sorry, the website Before It's News...   BIN.  I don't know why I even check it anymore because nothing on there ever actually happens, but probably out of habit.  They do have some good survival ideas sometimes though.
 
http://beforeitsnews.com/

JKB, thanks! I forgot that's what BIN  stood for - Before It's News.
They do have some interesting things on there.
 :)

Yowbarb

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2014, 11:19:11 AM »
The last I heard on the news, pregnant women and other at - risk groups were still being told to not drink the water there... I hope the National Guard is still able to get that water out to people...

Yowbarb

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2014, 09:08:07 AM »
Yowbarb Note: Heard on CNN yesterday: There are new, serious concerns about the drinking water in West Virginia due to that chemical storage facility which leaked. There are new things found. Areas which had been told they could drink the water now have to try to get informed about that.
I hope they will all be OK.

The local officials (are) probably taking it seriously enough. They need to make sure water is still being brought in by the Guard...

Couldn't that be considered a state of emergency?
More details later...

Yowbarb

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2014, 10:46:51 AM »
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-west-virginia-spill-criticism-grows-20140131,0,5603683.story#axzz2s65YdSHl

West Virginia spill criticism grows amid new fear over tainted water

Los Angeles Times ‎- 19 hours ago

The top public health official in Charleston, W. Va., has added to widespread criticism of the decision to declare drinking water safe despite a ...

By David Zucchino
January 31, 2014, 2:47 p.m.

The top public health official in Charleston, W. Va., has added to widespread criticism of the decision to declare drinking water safe despite a critical lack of scientific data about the coal-washing chemical that spilled into the Elk River on Jan. 9.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, the largest in West Virginia, said in an interview Friday that the water can't be considered completely safe because scientists don't know the possible health effects of exposure to the chemical. He said officials have confused the 300,000 residents whose water was tainted by first declaring it safe, then resuming distribution of bottled water Thursday.

"If you weren't confused before, welcome to our world of confusion here," Gupta said in a telephone interview. "People are naturally confused when they are told on the one hand that the water is safe, and on the other hand they [officials] are now redistributing water."

Further complicating matters, Gupta said, three local schools on Friday reported low but elevated levels of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM. Kanawha County school officials said the schools' water systems would be flushed again over the weekend.

These reports come as local doctors are recommending, almost unanimously, that their patients in affected areas not use their tap water, Gupta said.

Gupta said he and his wife -- a physician -- and his two teenage sons are not using tap water at home, which he says still emits an odor. "It's difficult for people to drink water that still has a licorice smell and has an aftertaste," he said.

State and federal officials are doing the best they can with limited data, Gupta said. But the lack of information about the health effects of MCHM, plus conflicting messages to the public, have raised serious doubt about the water's safety nearly three weeks after it was declared safe.

For public health officials, the situation is untenable, Gupta said. Residents are still visiting doctors and hospitals to complain of skin rashes, eye irritation, nausea and vomiting that  they blame on their tap water, he said. But there is no monitoring program to determine whether those conditions are caused by the water or something unrelated.

"It’s very difficult to calm people's concerns, especially when the water continues to smell and have an aftertaste," he said. He tried drinking the water at Charleston’s town hall, he said, but stopped because of the odor and aftertaste.

Gupta said there is "deep distrust" among public health officials about the limited data relied on by federal officials to determine safety standards for MCHM.  He said about 95% of the residents he has spoken to in town meetings and elsewhere have told him they are not using their tap water.

Responding to complaints from residents worried about safety, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Thursday asked West Virginia American Water, the company whose water treatment plant was tainted by the spill, to provide bottled water to residents in nine counties, including Charleston, the capital. The water company immediately began distribution, despite the fact that officials had declared the water safe.

"My staff continues to receive calls from constituents and organizations requesting bottled water be made available in their communities," Tomblin wrote in a letter to the water company president. The governor noted that the state had spent $890,000 to distribute 17.5 million bottles of water before Tomblin lifted the "do not use" order Jan. 13, saying extensive testing had determined that the water was safe.

The governor’s "State of Emergency" page on his website offers information on where residents can pick up free bottled water.  It’s the same site that announced the lifting of the "do not use" order.

Independent scientists have criticized state and federal officials for declaring the water safe, despite what they say is a lack of testing of MCHM for the chemical’s health effects on humans. They have challenged the federal safety standard of 1 part per million set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying it was based on faulty or incomplete data.

"Absolutely no data are available on the chemical [MCHM] with respect to exposure through inhalation," Richard Denison, a senior scientist at the Environmental Defense Fund, wrote Thursday in a blog post titled "Should we be holding our breath waiting for more information on risks of the chemical spilled?"

 "Yet officials did not hesitate to tell residents the 1 ppm would be safe not only for drinking the water, but also for bathing and showering," Denison wrote. He has accused state and federal officials of an "epic fail" in their handling of the crisis.

On Wednesday, an environmental scientist on West Virginia’s Environmental Quality Board stirred more public fear when he told a legislative committee in Charleston that area residents were at risk of breathing in formaldehyde by showering in the tainted water.

"I can guarantee you that citizens in this valley are, at least in some instances, breathing formaldehyde," Scott Simonton, a Marshall University scientist, told the panel.

"It’s frightening, it’s really frightening," Simonton said. He said he and his family are not drinking or cooking with the water.

Formaldehyde is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a likely human carcinogen that has caused cancer in animals. The EPA says the colorless, pungent gas can cause nausea, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, and breathing difficulties in exposure to elevated levels, defined as above 0.1 ppm. It can also trigger severe allergic reactions.


http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-west-virginia-spill-criticism-grows-20140131,0,5603683.story#ixzz2s6600zTJ

Endtimesgal_2012

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Large Meat Recall
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2014, 07:49:06 PM »
This is one of the big reasons I do not eat meat any longer.  Once I found out that the Meat Packing Industry process diseased beef and what it could do to a person, I cannot even think of eating it.

http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/02/10/nearly-9-million-pounds-beef-recalled?cmpid=foodinc-fb

Yowbarb

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Re: Large Meat Recall
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2014, 11:01:30 AM »
This is one of the big reasons I do not eat meat any longer.  Once I found out that the Meat Packing Industry process diseased beef and what it could do to a person, I cannot even think of eating it.

http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/02/10/nearly-9-million-pounds-beef-recalled?cmpid=foodinc-fb

Although I never really lost my taste for meat (I am overly fond of all food) I am pretty much done with it...
I really do pray that someday only humane methods will be used when animals are used for their meat, pelts, their eggs etc.
When you see the look in their eyes you wonder how anyone could be so cruel to them...
A lot of people are just off meat, I think...

Yowbarb

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2014, 11:07:35 AM »
Yowbarb Note: Back to the water in WVA Topic... I hope this is true...hardly seems possible. I am sure a lot of people in that area will only drink bottled water for quite some time to come. Especially pregnant or with kids! This article is from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph (Virginia.)
...


http://www.bdtonline.com/latest/x1783687556/Fed-health-officials-now-calling-West-Virginia-water-safe

Latest Updates February 24, 2014

Fed health officials now calling West Virginia water ’safe’

Associated Press   
CHARLESTON — A federal health official says it’s safe to use water contaminated by a chemical spill in West Virginia last month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously labeled the water “appropriate for use” by everybody, but not “safe.”

Agency spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said the word choice doesn’t change guidance. Reynolds said Monday the agency wanted to recognize the desire of some to use the less scientific term ‘safe’ when discussing chemical levels in the water.

 The Jan. 9 spill in Charleston tainted 300,000 people’s water for up to 10 days.

 Last month, the CDC advised pregnant women to consider a different water source days after many people were told to drink the water. The CDC has since said everyone could have used the water when the ban was lifted

enlightenme

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Re: Major screwup with the water in West Virginia
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2014, 06:28:10 PM »
Agreed.  There was a bunch of traffic on BIN about West Virginia's FEMA Region being put on alert, but if I had a dollar for everyone of those I've read...

 ;D You and me both my friend! 

 

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